Mark chapter 15

Jesus stands before Pilate. Pilate sentences him to death. The soldiers mock him and crucify him. He dies. His body is buried.





VERSE 1. Immediately in the morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, bound Jesus, carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate.

held a consultation. They convened a council so they could take counsel.

delivered him up to Pilate. They did not have the legal authority to sentence a person to death. So they wanted Pilate to do that for them.


VERSE 2. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered, “So you say.”


VERSE 3. The chief priests accused him of many things.

accused him. The chief priests played right into Satan’s plan, for he is the accuser:

Ezra 4:6. In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

Mark 15:3. The chief priests accused him of many things.

Revelation 12:10. I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ has come; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.


VERSE 4. Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they testify against you!”


VERSE 5. But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate marveled.

Jesus made no further answer. He did not defend himself.


VERSE 6. Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whom they asked of him.




VERSE 7. There was one called Barabbas, bound with his fellow insurgents, men who in the insurrection had committed murder.

had committed murder. Barabbas is a murderer.


VERSE 8. The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them.


VERSE 9. Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”

the King of the Jews. It is strange that Pilate used this title for Jesus. We wonder if he was trying to provoke them.


VERSE 10. For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up.


VERSE 11. But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should release Barabbas to them instead.

the chief priests stirred up the multitude. The crowd cannot be blamed. They did what their religious leaders told them to do.


VERSE 12. Pilate again asked them, “What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?”


VERSE 13. They cried out again, “Crucify him!”

Crucify him! Doubtless the religious leaders had coached the crowd to demand this.


VERSE 14. Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they cried out exceedingly, “Crucify him!”


VERSE 15. Pilate, wishing to please the multitude, released Barabbas to them, and handed over Jesus, when he had flogged him, to be crucified.

wishing to please the multitude. Pilate fulfills the insane demands of this hostile crowd. Perhaps he wanted to make them happy with himself. Or perhaps he wanted to avoid a revolt, which would look bad on his own reports to Rome.

Pilate’s priorities are his own power, rather than truth or justice.




VERSE 16. The soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they called together the whole cohort.


VERSE 17. They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him.

clothed him with purple. This was the color worn by royalty.


VERSE 18. They began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!”


VERSE 19. They struck his head with a reed, and spat on him, and bowing their knees, did homage to him.


VERSE 20. When they had mocked him, they took the purple off him, and put his own garments on him. They led him out to crucify him.




VERSE 21. They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross.

Simon of Cyrene. This is an exact name. Perhaps he was known among the followers of Jesus.


VERSE 22. They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, “The place of a skull.”


VERSE 23. They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t take it.

wine mixed with myrrh. This was offered as a pain-killer.

he didn’t take it. Jesus did not reduce his pain. Instead, he drank it to the full.


VERSE 24. Crucifying him, they parted his garments among them, casting lots on them, what each should take.


VERSE 25. It was the third hour, and they crucified him.

Here is the timeline:

third hour (9 am): they crucified him (verse 25)

sixth hour (noon): darkness came over the land (verse 33)

ninth hour (3 pm): Jesus dies (verse 34)


VERSE 26. The superscription of his accusation was written over him, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”


VERSE 27. With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left.


VERSE 28. The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, “He was counted with transgressors.”

Isaiah 53:12. Therefore I will give him a portion with the great, and he will divide the plunder with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was counted with the transgressors; yet he bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


VERSE 29. Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days,

Those who passed by. They are not newcomers. They are able to make specific insults, based on a cursory knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ.


VERSE 30. save yourself, and come down from the cross!”

save yourself. Saving  himself was not his mission. Rather, Jesus Christ came to save others.


VERSE 31. Likewise, also the chief priests mocking among themselves with the scribes said, “He saved others. He can’t save himself.


VERSE 32. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.” Those who were crucified with him also insulted him.


VERSE 33. When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Here is the timeline:

third hour (9 am): they crucified him (verse 25)

sixth hour (noon): darkness came over the land (verse 33)

ninth hour (3 pm): Jesus dies (verse 34)




VERSE 34. At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Here is the timeline:

third hour (9 am): they crucified him (verse 25)

sixth hour (noon): darkness came over the land (verse 33)

ninth hour (3 pm): Jesus dies (verse 34)

Psalm 22:1. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning?

Matthew 27:46. About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?” That is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Mark 15:34. At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”


VERSE 35. Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”


VERSE 36. One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.”


VERSE 37. Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit.

gave up the spirit. This is phrased as if it were a voluntary choice, as compared with something that happened to him. He “gave” up the spirit.


VERSE 38. The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom.


VERSE 39. When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”


VERSE 40. There were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

women watching from afar. All the men had fled for their lives. The only followers with the courage to stay were the women.


VERSE 41. who, when he was in Galilee, followed him and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.




VERSE 42. When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,


VERSE 43. Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who also himself was looking for God’s Kingdom, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body.

Joseph of Arimathaea. He would later be known as Barnabas the Apostle.

boldly went in to Pilate. This was a courageous act.


VERSE 44. Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long.


VERSE 45. When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.


VERSE 46. He bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.


VERSE 47. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.

Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses. These two women were the only disciples of Jesus Christ with the courage to go to his burial. All the men ran away, fleeing for their very lives. But not these two Marys.

Looking ahead, we will see their great courage and great faith in Mark chapter 16. These two women will act with great courage and great faith. Where are the men? They are hiding in the Upper Room, cowering in fear.

Mark 16:1. When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.